1801. AN ARABIAN TALE

Ai.Bi'M Azar, the good magician, retired in his old age to the top of the lofty mountain Calabut; avoided the society of men, but was visited nightly by genii and spirits of the first rank, who loved him, and amused him with their instructive conversation.

Belubel, the strong, came one evening to see Albumazar; his height was seven leagues, and his wings when spread might overshadow a kingdom. He laid himself gently down between the long ridges of Elluem; the tops of the trees in the valley were his couch; his head rested on Calabut as on a pillow, and his face shone on the tent of Albumazar.

The magician spoke to him with rapturous piety of the wisdom and goodness of the Most High; but expressed his wonder at the existence of evil in the world, which he said he could not account for by all the efforts of his reason.

"Value not thyself, my friend," said Belubel, "on that quality which thou callest reason. If thou knewest its origin and its weakness, it would rather be matter of humiliation."

"Tell me then," said Albumazar, "what I do not know; inform my ignorance, and enlighten my understanding." "Contemplate," said Albumazar, "the scale of beings, from an elephant down to an oyster. Thou seest a gradual diminution of faculties and powers, so small in each step that the difference is scarce perceptible. There is no gap, but the gradation is complete. Men in general do not know, but thou knowest, that in ascending from an elephant to the infinitely Great, Good, and Wise, there is also a long gradation of beings, who possess powers and faculties of which thou canst yet have no conception."